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Experience community volunteering when you study in Europe

Publication date: 22/07/2021

Discover community volunteering opportunities in Europe through the European Solidarity Corps, international student organisations and your host university.

Students volunteering at a food bank

As an international student, you may arrive in a new country which is completely unknown to you. It takes time to get to know your new environment, make friends and to find your way around. 

As time passes, you might want to contribute more to the local community as a way of enriching your European study experience by taking on a volunteering position. 

Show solidarity

Volunteering is a way to show solidarity and to become more integrated within the local community. As well as being an inspirational experience, it’s often an opportunity to learn local languages and new skills.

There are many opportunities to get involved at the community level. For instance, you could

  • join the European Solidarity Corps
  • join a student organisation
  • ask your host university

Join the European Solidarity Corps 

The European Solidarity Corps offers some of the best opportunities to get involved in volunteer work.

As a European Union (EU) youth initiative, it offers support and funding for 18-30 year old students to participate in projects that benefit communities. 

These projects are opportunities to give help exactly where it’s needed, to develop language skills and to return home with unforgettable memories.

There are a number of options available to show solidarity, but you must reside in a programme or partner country to participate in volunteering activities through the European Solidarity Corps. 

Join a student organisation 

International student organisations, such as the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and the youth leadership organisation AIESEC, organise volunteering opportunities in many different countries. 

These activities help to facilitate the integration of young people into the local community through cross-cultural experiences. 

Ask your host university about volunteering activities

European higher education institutions often promote and organise information about volunteering opportunities in the university's host city.

Visit the website of your host university for more information on local volunteering opportunities.

Header image: © iStock/SDI Productions, 2020.